Oyo State government has backed South-West security outfit codenamed ‘Operation Amotekun, to fortify themselves as it pleases them in the discharge of their duties.
Speaking in an interview with The PUNCH on Wednesday, January 13, the Special Adviser to Governor Seyi Makinde on Security Matters, Fatai Owoseni, said he sees noting condemnable with the local security outfit fortifying themselves in ways they find acceptable.
The former police commissioner stated this while he was asked whether Amotekun officers empower themselves with charms.
“I won’t be able to answer that question because I am not an Amotekun operative,” said Owoseni.
Naija News understands that there have been controversies over the Amotekun operatives following an alleged clash with Fulani herdsmen in the region. The local security outfit was accused of recklessness and extrajudicial killings after a few months of its establishment.
Some citizens have criticized Amotekun, alleging that its officers carry out unaccepted raids considering the fact that they have not been legally permitted to bear firearms like the police.
Speaking further on whether officers of the outfit fortified themselves to carry out their operations: Owoseni said: “Everyone including yourself (the interviewer), if you don’t use charm, you will have Bible or you have Qur’an with which you use to protect yourself. So, don’t let us fool ourselves in Africa and in this country.”
He added: “If you are going to work every morning and you kneel down and read Psalms, that is your charm. So, if the man that is recruited into Amotekun thinks he needs to fortify himself one way or the other, that is his Bible or the Holy Qur’an.”
According to Owoseni, “Weapons that require permit and license are the prohibited firearms. If you are not using the prohibited firearms, you don’t need a license. There are dane guns that people use to do their hunting. So, we have not reached the stage where they want to use those firearms that they require a license for.”
When questioned how Amotekun operatives carry out their operations successfully when they have not been licensed to bear prohibited or sophisticated arms, the former police chief reiterated that; “It is not Amotekun alone that goes into the bush. It is a collaborative effort, an hybrid solution, using the conventional security and the non-state actors altogether including members of the occupational groups –Miyetti Allah; and elements of the people of the Fulani ethnic group in the state.
“Everything work together. What the Amotekun do mostly is they serve first as elements that gather intelligence and when all of them go out together, everyone knows his capacity.”
“Even the law that created Amotekun said they will work in collaboration to support the national security agencies, especially the police that is most widely spread,” he submitted.